Archive for the ‘ sexism ’ Category

Biblical Equality for Men and Women

Around 1880, Katherine Bushnell, an M.D. and a Greek and Hebrew scholar received a call from God to preach abroad. But she refused over her concern that the Bible did not approve of women preaching. Her concern which conflicted with her call, compelled her to research–where she eventually found that the Christian women’s status in the church today was influenced or changed by the Jewish rabbinical teaching and Biblical translation. The Jewish oral law prohibited women to publicly prophesy. This sex bias influenced translators, which in turn, influenced contemporary Christian teaching. This story of Bushnell should push all Christians into the question of hermeneutics and Biblical interpretation.

Instigated by college class discussions, I have collected a number of questions on the subject. Thankfully I am not alone in this, and questioners before me have already found answers that aid me in my adjustment of theology and practices thereof. As Christians, we must be faithful to Scripture, God’s Word. Without the Scripture, we will more inevitably live under the curse (Gen. 3:14-19), yet with it we have truths of the Kingdom. God’s original created order was pure equality between men, women, and all the things of the earth, which was distorted after the Fall (Genesis chapter 3). Yet we need to be careful in our pursuit of the Kingdom. In our pursuit we need to be careful of pride; those who seek power are as spiritually in danger as those who are keeping others from having the power.


Below is a summary of Scriptures that show men and women’s equality in Creation, Redemption, Community, and Family, taken from the Christians for Biblical Equality’s statement of Biblical truths.

Creation

  •  Men and women have equal relationship and responsibility over the rearing of children and dominion over the created order (Gen. 1:26-27).
  • The rulership of Adam (men) over Eve (women) is a direct result from the Fall and is not a part of God’s original created order (Gen. 3:16).
Redemption
  •      Christ came to redeem women as well as men without racial, social, or gender distinctive (Jn. 1:12-13; Rom. 8:14-17; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 3:26-28).
Community

  • The Holy Spirit during the Pentecost came on men and women alike and does not distribute gifts with preference to gender (Acts 2:1-21; 1 Cor. 12:7, 11, 14:31).
  • Men and women are divinely gifted and empowered to minister to the whole Church, under Christ’s authority (Acts 1:14, 18:26, 21:9; Rom16:1-7, 12-13, 15; Phil. 3:2-3; col. 4:15; Mk. 15:40-41, 16:1-7; Lk. 8:1-3; Jn. 20:17-18; Old Testament: Judges 4:4-14, 5:7; 2 Chron. 34:22-28; Prov. 31:30-31; Micah 6:4).
  • Leadership is the empowerment of others for service, not the exercise of power over them (Matt. 20: 25-28; 23:8; Mk. 10:42-45; Jn. 13:13-17; Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 5:2-3).
Family
  •  Wives and husbands are bound together in a relationship of mutual submission and responsibility (1 Cor. 7:3-5; Eph. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:1-7; Gen. 21:12). The husband’s function as “head” means a self-giving love and service as likewise the wife is to her husband (Eph. 5:21-33; Col. 3:19; 1 Pet. 3:7).
  •  Both mothers and fathers are to have leadership in nurturing, training, disciplining, and teaching of their children (Ex. 20:12; Lev. 19:3; Deut. 6:6-9, 21; 18-21, 27: 16; Prov. 1:8, 6:20; Eph. 6:1-4; Col. 3:20; 2 Tim. 1:5; Luke 2:51).





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